capital of Red China

Mao Tse-tung: Ruler of Red China

Mao Tse-tung: Ruler of Red China by Robert Payne, Schuman, 1950

This book was published shortly after Mao came to power. Fifteen years before the Cultural Revolution, he anticipated Mao's wider interests:

Mao holds all the arts of China in his hands. Lenin had neither the learning nor the inclination to assume the role of transformer of culture. Mao, far more widely read and with a comparable subtlety of mind, has clearly determined to accept the position thrust on him, and no one can foresee the changes in the basic structure of Chinese culture which will derive ultimately from his will.

Though lacking some of the documents and details we have now, the book has some interesting details on party history, including its foundation. In chapter three, he explains how Pravda in 1920 had wrongly reported the formation of a Communist Party of China. This was actually a conference consisting of a mixed bag of anarchists and non-Leninist socialists which “ended in a fiasco”.

A revised and updated edition was published in 1961 as Portrait of a Revolutionary: Mao Tse-tung

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